If you think you have the internet all figured out, trust us — you’ve barely even scratched the surface. It’s a whole other world, always has been, and you never know what you’ll get when you hop online. Images with a lot of stuff going on? Very likely. Random photos that just don’t make any sense? Definitely! But in the last few years, another type of picture has gained explosive growth for its ability to leave us dazed, confused, and equally entertained.
Today, we’re featuring a unique corner of the virtual world called ‘Things Only Get Weirder’. As the creator, Brian Coffin, states in the description, this Facebook page is the place “for weird people by weird people. From the beautiful to the macabre and all sorts of strangeness in between.” With over 253k followers, the social media project is here to show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes, and it certainly delivers.
There’s a lot to uncover in these pics, and the longer you look, the weirder it gets. So keep scrolling to get on a wild rollercoaster ride down to some of the strangest artifacts you’ll probably see all day. Keep reading to also find our interviews with the founder of the page, Brian, as well as psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Then upvote the images that evoked those uneasy feelings, and let us know how you managed to decipher them below in the comments!
Once you delve deeper into this collection of pictures, it really draws you in, doesn’t it? These images featured on the ‘Things Only Get Weirder’ page prove that the internet is a bottomless pit of uncanny tidbits that inspire us to spend hours decoding the perplexities we’re looking at. There’s a lot of wild stuff happening in the world, and this social media project has been documenting it all.
The creator of the awned page Bored Panda in an interview that ‘Things Only Get Weirder’ started as a way to store all the creepy and strange images he was hoarding on his phone. “I wanted a quick way to store them online without having to spend money, so I created a Facebook page. This would allow me to bulk upload my images and I could easily find them, and while it wasn’t a goal at the time , I left it public so others could stumble across it,” Brian explained.
After about two years of consistently uploading unusual images to the page, it reached 500 followers, inspiring Brian to take action. “I started engaging my budding community by talking with them in the comments, offering to post their page-relevant artwork they created themselves, etc. Then the algorithm found me, and next thing I know, I’m adding about 10,000 members a month ,” the creator said. “It was crazy.”
“It’s been so fun watching the page grow. I have a wonderful community of like-minded people and I have been lucky enough to have been able to moderate it all on my own this whole time,” Brian said and added he runs into very few problems.
He described the community as a “melting pot”. “Obviously, we have younger people who are into the weird and creepy. But then you see an 80-year-old grandmother liking and commenting on a really strange piece of art, and it just makes you realize just how many different kinds of people from all over the world and of all ages are capable of being interested in the same thing you are.”
The truth is, these images make it difficult to click away. Why wouldn’t you like to see a giant flamingo sculpture in the middle of an airport? Or an onion claw machine? The desire to know and understand the meaning behind these examples is driven by our curiosity and desire to push our boundaries of imagination.
But Brian believes the content resonates with viewers for a few reasons. “For some people like me, we just get something out of being made uncomfortable in a way by certain images. Almost like how horror movie fans like to be scared, I like to see something so incomprehensible and weird that it invokes a sense of anxiety .”
“For others, I think that we live in strange times, transient times, and even scary times. And I feel like trends in artwork a lot of the time reflect the times we live in. Like the advent of Liminal Space imagery, pictures of transitory spaces, a longing for older days now abandoned. Or dark images that reflect the state of the world we live in. I think, on some level, subconsciously, these types of images can resonate with people even if they don’t know why .”
To get to the bottom of this question, we reached out to Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., a psychologist and creator of Mental Drive. According to him, weirdness is in the eye of the beholder.
“There is great variation in what people find weird,” he told Bored Panda. “Different people will find a picture weird, while others will see nothing strange about it.” Apparently, this has everything to do with our life experiences: from our exposure to strange, novel, and out-of-the-norm objects and situations to our upbringing with regard to the odd. “The main point here is that what is weird to one may seem nothing more than ‘different’ to another.”
This fixation with the weird, however, is driven by our fascination with novelty, psychologist Klapow explained. “We are hardwired to orient towards, engage and assess things that are outside our normal experience. ‘Weird’ fits this description perfectly.”
“We learn through observation and experience. So, when something is weird, we are drawn to it by our genetic, hardwired, evolutionary need to assess and learn,” he continued. “Weird is unique in that it may or may not be harmful, may or may not be appealing. This draws us in even more as it takes more time and investigation to determine how we feel about what we are experiencing.”
Bumping into weirdness can throw us off our game, but the online world seems obsessed with seeking out these types of images. “The internet offers us a virtual buffet of ‘weird’ at our fingertips,” Klapow noted. “It is an ‘all you can eat’ with no limitations or restrictions on how many weird images we consume.”
Consequently, we become less sensitive to unique or novel images. “We are starting to shift our interpretation of these images from ‘weird’ or ‘bizarre’ to ‘different’. Basically, it is taking increasingly strange, odd, or different images to register on our ‘weird radar’ we see so many weird images all the time.”
Because of the endless amounts of odd pictures floating online, it is sometimes hard for Brian to pick content to share on the page. The creator aims to curate unique artwork or images and stay away from typical horror movie screenshots. “I hesitate to say ‘mainstream’, but I am in a way always looking for the deep cuts of weird images. I love digging through small pages of people who share the same types of content or, better yet, people who make it themselves . I always try and promote those creators.”
Brian revealed his main pass-fail check to see if the image fits his page is whether it evokes a feeling: “All I want to give people is some sort of visceral feeling from what’s gracing their screens.”
Striving for this goal also leads to validating weirdness in society. Or, as psychologist Klapow explained, “We are starting to broaden our understanding and acceptance of the idiosyncrasies, the oddness, the weirdness that is inherent in our society. We are beginning to actually normalize weird. [It] is becoming less off-putting and more just another component to who we are.”
See, odds is defined and modified by social norms. “It’s important to remember that we are dynamic, evolving, growing, and changing beings. As a result, what is weird for me may not be for you. for society at this moment may become the norm 10 years from now.”
“Have patience and grace and acceptance of those things that don’t fit social conventions and norms. You never know when ‘weird’ will become ordinary,” Klapow said.
Creator Brian agrees with this line of thinking. For him, weirdness is analogous to uniqueness. “Because weird in simple terms means different. I feel like people need to be weird. I feel like when they are, that is their truest self! It’s what separates you from everyone else.”
“I do think humanity will get weirder. Because we are weird. If you think about it, we are the weird-shaped puzzle piece in our world, we stand out from every other creature on earth. It is what has carried us to now , for better or worse.”
The ‘Things Only Get Weirder’ page is a safe space, proving that being different can truly be a wonderful thing. In a bid to show that weirdness connects us, Brian even started out a small TeeSpring store filled with different t-shirt designs with the page’s logo where half the proceeds go to the artist.
“Be yourself. Unapologetically,” Brian advised. “Love what you love and don’t be afraid to be proud of the things that make you weird and unique. You are never alone, there are people just like you out there, go find them.”